Sure, we lack long sunny summers, warm waters and the kind of beach culture we grew up seeing on 90210 and The OCWhat we do have, however, are stunningly rugged beaches, hugged by serene seas and a fondness for lobbing ourselves into the deep blue the moment the sun comes out. 

So it's especially exciting to hear that one of our island's many charming beaches has been named one of the world's best in a recent survey. 

Keem Bay in Co Mayo was listed as the 11th best beach in the world by Big 7, a travel media company that specialises in travel guides for adventurous travellers, in their list of the 50 best beaches in the world. 

Writing in the guide, they note: "Keem Bay is a breathtaking rural and sheltered beach surrounded by cliffs on Ireland's largest island – Achill Island. Its gleaming white sand rivals tropical islands and the water is superbly clear.

"The sun might not always be shining, but when it does it’s world-class. And yes, it’s beautiful even on a rainy day."

Indeed, the beach has everything that makes for a perfect sunning spot, and more, cradled by the rolling green hills of Benmore and Croaghaun mountain on three sides and opening out onto pristine azure waters. All you'd need is a good book, snacks and your factor 30 - this is still Ireland, after all. 

Although we just missed out of the top 10, it's worth noting the company our quaint little beach is keeping, falling just behind the famed Pig Beach in the Bahamas, the baffling beach inhabited by pigs, despite them not being native to the area. 

Also on the list are Glass Beach in California, a former dumping site that now has a shore made up of sea-polished glass pebbles, and Praia do Camilo in Lagos, Portugal, where the orange cliffs and golden sandy beaches give the spot an otherworldly feel. 

The top 10 include the dramatic black sand beaches of Reynisfjara Beach in Vík í Mýrdal, Iceland, the utterly unpolluted Grace Bay in Turks and Caicos and the painterly dunes of Whitehaven Beach in Whitsunday Islands, Australia.

And in the top spot? Zlatni rat or Golden Horn Beach in Brac, Croatia, the majestic triangular beach that juts out into pristine turquoise and cerulean water.

 

So if you're looking for a beach to stretch out on this summer, you won't have to travel too far for one of the best beach destinations in the world. 

Check out the top 10 beaches below! 

  1. Zlatni rat (Golden Horn Beach) – Brac, Croatia
  2. Whitehaven Beach – Whitsunday Islands, Australia
  3. Fig Tree Bay – Protaras, Cyprus
  4. Grace Bay – Turks and Caicos
  5. Secret Lagoon – El Nido, Palawan, Philippines
  6. Reynisfjara Beach – Vík í Mýrdal, Iceland
  7. Source d'Argent – Seychelles
  8. Playa Ruinas – Quintana Roo, Mexico
  9. Kanuhura Maldives – Lhaviyani Atoll Maldives
  10. Pig Beach – Bahamas